February 27, 2012

It takes a Detective | Yeast :: Bacteria :: Parasites
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CAROLINE'S
Signs of Yeast:
Spacy, difficult to concentrate
Giggly, Overly silly, Inappropriate laughter
Eczema, Peeling fingers
Anxiety & reduced eye contact
Walking in circles
Increased scipting
Increased stimming
Heightened sensory defensiveness
Climbing on furniture
Night waking
Bloating
Irritability

Signs of Bacteria:
Tics - especially throat clearing & tapping tics
Obsessive compulsive behaviors
Defiant / uncooperative
Anger - Jumping & screaming over simple tasks
Irritability
Night waking

Signs of Parasites:
Teeth grinding
Itching of rectal area
Bloating
Irritability
Night waking

What's with the OVERLAP of symptoms?!?
... oh that?  It's just to make the game more
challenging.

To add to the mix:
Don't discount the Die Off.
As you kill any of the above they can go out with a
vengeance, causing amplified behaviors.
"She's not doing as well as she was two weeks ago."  Caroline's therapist
reluctantly offers. "Anything different?"

OH EM GEEEE.

Is there ever a week when things AREN'T different?!  Ask anyone who's up
to their eyeballs in biomedical treatments, everything is different EVERY
week.

And actually, for the most part, her therapists have come to know what
we're doing.  Because, really, how else could we have explained some of the
overnight advances, and (thankfully seldom) regressions.

When you have a child who's stuck on letter sounds for a year,  "AAAAA....
EEEEEE... OOOOO..."  every day --  over and over and over -- no words,   
and suddenly the words come, people tend to wonder.  "Anything different?"

So you tell them, "Yes, we started treating yeast overgrowth..." as they nod
along and look at you like you're an alien disembarking from a spaceship
that descended upon the office.

And in a sense, you are somewhat of a creature from another planet.  You're
doing what this world often regards as impossible.  You're recovering a
child from autism.

When they see the overnight improvements continue (and sometimes
disappear) their interest is often piqued.  There might just be something to
this biomedical game.  

At the point in time they start asking about what might biomedically be
causing XYZ, to me, that's the ultimate compliment!  

But what do you say when you don't know?  Especially in the beginning.  
Sometimes the symptoms are too close to call and as you look back on your
pages and pages of notes, you start to feel a bit like Inspector Clouseau.

This is often the case when it involves discerning between yeast - bacteria -
and parasites.  Three things guaranteed to ensure your child's path to
recovery is never boring.

Starting with Yeast

It's one of the most common treatments people begin first.  Why?  Because
our kids compromised immune systems can't control yeast overgrowth like
a healthy immune system can.

And because it causes a whole host of symptoms commonly associated with
'autism.'  See the chart to the right.

So, while repairing the immune system is the ultimate goal, that's usually
only achieved by removing metals, which can take time.  In the case of our
low-dose chelation protocol, we're talking 2+ years.

Since we can't let the rest of the world go by while we remove metals, enter
the yeast killers.  They often bring dramatic improvements in language,
interaction, and reduction of other symptoms that it's overgrowth can cause.

With time though, it becomes obvious that slaying the yeast beast is much
more of an art than a science.  There's more involved than kill. kill. kill.

ARRRGH, Bacteria!!!

Just about when you think you have the yeast figured out -- or before that if
you're lucky -- you learn that bacteria must also be on your radar.

The gut is like a children's ball pit.  Oftentimes just as nasty too, so it's an
appropriate comparison.  Anyway, in this ball pit, as you take out the balls
that represent yeast, something fills those spaces.  We hope it's good
bacteria (in the form of probiotics) but sometimes it's the bad stuff.   

When bacteria overgrows, you have a new crop of problems.  Obsessive
compulsive behaviors, tics, anger, aggression, defiance and so on.  

There are also some children who start out with bacteria overgrowth and
then yeast flares and many others who have problems with BOTH.

So, you treat and you treat and you chelate and you chelate, and just when
you think you've got those two figured out...

Enter Parasites

Leave it to the worms to throw a wrench into your whole gut healing plan.  
And who invited them into the ball pit in the first place?  

Chances are, your child's immune system did.  If it's too weak to respond
appropriately to invaders, the parasites undoubtedly will be crashing your
"repair the gut" party and they never travel alone.


Now that I've lost all hope, what should I do?

At this point in the blog, even Inspector Clouseau would be scratching his
head.  Da-dum-da-DUM-dum-dum....   

Of course you can test.  and test.  and re-test.  But over time, this Mom has
learned that sometimes a trusty magnifying glass and a notebook will get
you closer to the prize.  

Tests can be inaccurate and are always only a snapshot in time.  A child like
Caroline can have a yeast flare one week , bacteria overgrowth another and
a parasitic infestation the week after that.

In my opinion, if you want to see improvement in your child you need to do
three things.  Yep.  Only three.  Unfortunately none of them are easy.

1. Research.  Read the links on this page.  Join parent groups and learn
about what others have used successfully for the symptoms you're seeing.

2. Abandon fear of supplements.  Replace it with the fear that your child
will never improve.   Armed with the research from step 1, you need to jump
in and get to work on trying different things.

3. Take Notes.   Really, really good notes.   Easier said than done since my
notebook for last week has a total of 10 comments in it.  (oops.  that gosh
darn
revolution plotting sure can get in the way.)

Ideally however, it's important to record as much as possible.  Behaviors,
language, stool consistency, unique observations, dark circles under the
eyes,  bloated belly anything that will help you distinguish symptoms of
yeast - from bacteria - from parasites - from woke up on the wrong side of
the bed.

Buy yourself a pretty notebook, and keep it all in one place.  Which leads to
ahem... #4 (sorry!), refer to your notes.  Use them to make adjustments and

keep moving forward.

The road to recovery is long.  We need to have our eyes not only on healing
the underlying issues (often with chelation) but also on managing the day to
day symptoms.  It's not easy.  In fact, it's the hardest thing I've ever had to
do in my life.  Luckily, it's also the most rewarding.

So, if you aren't familiar with your child's symptoms and what they mean, I
encourage you to put on your inspector hat, grab a magnifying glass and
your pretty notebook and get to it.  

Someday, in the not too distant future, you'll be an expert detective and be
making a list of your child's symptoms, overlaps and all, to pass along to
someone else.

Meanwhile... with Caroline

The reason she wasn't doing well was yeast.  Foggy inattentive, less engaged
& super giggly.  In an attempt to kill more yeast than bacteria, I had
decreased her
goldenseal and increased the oil of oregano.  

I originally thought it was die off of yeast causing her behaviors. But when
they continued into the second week, I decided to throw in the towel on the
higher dose of OoO.  It just wasn't working for her.

I increased her diflucan & goldenseal, decreased the oil of oregano and sure
enough.... After a slight stop at the  bacteria overgrowth station (a brief
return of tics) she's back!  

The return of eye contact, communication & attentiveness have made for a
decidedly happier household and the pinkalicious princess is much more
fun to be around!  The whole episode has been recorded in my fancy floral
notebook.   Never to be repeated again.
Treating Gut Dysbyosis requires close examination
and keen detective work!
No greater feeling than when the gut is in balance
and all the stars are aligned.
Looking for help?  Check out this
information and treatment guide to these
and other issues
Biomedical Approach for
Autism: The Basics
You can also
find me,
Rebecca
Ferguson
as Mentos at
Thinking
Moms'
Revolution
for nickname explanations